Friday, April 15, 2011

Johnson Working as Policy and Market Researcher

Roxanne Johnson (MS-STEP '08) has accepted a new position as a policy and market researcher with the BlueGreen Alliance in Minneapolis. She works with a project in the Clean Energy Manufacturing Center with the goal of creating more domestic supply chain opportunities in the wind energy industry.

The BlueGreen Alliance works to transform the economy through renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass transit, and rail, which has the potential to create jobs, and reduce global warming emissions.

Obrero Studies Tagalog With Filipino Scholars

Teresa Michelle Obrero (MPP '07) spent eight weeks in the summer of 2010 studying Tagalog, her father's native language, with a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute (SEASSI) at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The FLAS encourages students to enroll in a foreign language and area studies program to study a critical and less commonly taught language. Obrero studied intensively with a group of Filipino scholars and native language speakers, and learned one year's level of the language.

Holm Accepts Position at African Development Center

Matt Holm (MPP '08) has taken a position as communications and development manager at the African Development Center. In this position, he will implement the communications needed for ADC programming and community engagement events. The ADC works within the African communities of Minnesota to start and sustain successful businesses, build wealth, and promote community reinvestment. Through workshops and consultations on financial literacy, business development, and home ownership, ADC provides culturally competent services to Minnesota's African community. It is located on Riverside Ave in Minneapolis, not far from the Humphrey Center.

Rodriguez Named Executive Director at Merrick Community Services

Daniel Rodriguez (MPA '04), has left his position as director of the Office of Community Relations for the St. Paul Public Schools and accepted a position as executive director at Merrick Community Services (MCS).

Rodriguez will lead MCS into its next chapter as the organization works to provide social services to people living in St. Paul's increasingly diverse East Side. "I'm very excited to be associated with an organization that is so aligned with my values and principles," said Rodriguez. "The more I learn about the organization and meet people who have a connection to it, the more impressed I become."

Previously, Rodriguez has had experience as a corporate lobbyist and a congressional aide and once studied for the priesthood. He sits on the board of the Charities Review Council and has served as board chair of Neighborhood House, a St. Paul-based social service provider.

Swenson Tackles New Role at the Minnesota Department of Commerce

Matt Swenson (MPP '07) has taken on the position of deputy communications director at the Minnesota Department of Commerce. The department ensures equitable commercial and financial transactions and reliable utility services by regulating and licensing business activity in more than 20 industries, investigating and resolving consumer complaints, advocating the public's interest before the Public Utilities Commission, and administering various state programs.

Swenson has previous experience as a freelance graphic designer and political consultant.

Lindgren changes direction in the Foreign Service

Andrea Lindgren (MPP '03) currently serves as a Foreign Service Officer in Manilla, Philippines. She will return to Washington, D.C. i,n September, 011 to prepare for her next post in Tokyo, which will begin in June of 2012.

Ochs Appointed to St. Paul Planning Commission

In January, Chris Ochs (MURP '04) was sworn in as a member of the St. Paul Planning Commission, a 21-member advisory board that is appointed by the Mayor and approved by the city council. Ochs serves is a designer and project manger at Windor Companies, a full-service design-build company in the Twin Cities. He will serve on the Neighborhood Planning subcommittee.

Ochs chose a career in landscape architecture following a 10-year stint in freight transportation. He has been recognized with multiple awards from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association, and was awarded the HWS Cleveland Award.

Beard recognized at "Public Servant of the Week"

Tara Beard (MURP '03),community development coordinator for the City of Hopkins, has been recognized by the Hopkins Patch as "Public Servant of the Week." In her position, Beard shares long-range planning duties with others in the department, works on redevelopment, attend scommunity events, and work swith developers on various projects,. She alsoaacilitate sthe Think Hopkins campaign, a marketing initiative sponsored by they city and the Hopkins Business and Civic Association.

Beard began her professional career in architecture. But an internship working on corporate design after college left her unfulfilled. "I felt I wasn't scratching that public purpose itch,she say." When she explained to a professor that she was more interested in designing cities than individual buildings, he suggested that Beard consider city planning--a career path she wasn't familiar with. The profession was a good match. She spent three-and-a-half years with the city of Minneapolis doing city planning and economic development before coming to Hopkins.

Read the full article here

Kuhn Assumes Position of District Manager of Social Security (SS)

Emily Kuhn (MPP '00) is the district manager of the Social Security Administration (SSA) office in Madison, Wisconsin. She surrently sserves as a lead specialist in the Office of the Regional Commissioner. "At SSA, we serve the American public from birth to old age," says Kuhn. "Often, we help those most in need. I love working for Social Security because I am inspired each day by those we serve and by the employees I lead."

Kuhn started her career with SSA as a Presidential Management Fellow (in Washington, D.C. ,after graduating from the Humphrey School. From there, she spent time working in Ohio, and began working at SSA in Madison in 2002.

Hang Named One of the Business Journal's 40 Under 40

Maykao Hang (MA '94) has been the President and CEO of the Amherst Wilder Foundation in St. Paul since June 2010. She is the first woman and the first minority to ever serve in this position for the foundation. The Wilder Foundation is a nonprofit health and human services organization founded by a philanthropic Saint Paul businessman, Amherst H. Wilder, and his family. For more than 100 years, Wilder has combined direct service, research, and community development to address the needs of the most vulnerable people in greater Saint Paul.

Read a profile of Hang in the St. Paul Monitor and at

Das-Sulc Accepts Position with Hennepin County

Mercy Das-Sulc (MA '92) has taken a position with Hennepin County as a senior planning analyst. Her work will involve outreach to immigrant communities and the police department in Hopkins. She comes to the position from a post with the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Wright Leaves a Legacy of Passion for Public Service

Erika Wright (MA '92) passed away on March 2, 2011, at the age of 41. Although raised in Birmingham, AL, Wright worked in Minneapolis at St. Stephen's Services, LNB Community Center, and Community Action of Minneapolis. She was survived by her mother, Ernestine C. Wright; brother, James A. Wright; sister-in-law, Ashley G. Wright; nephew, James Alexander Wright, and niece, Kaitlyn Elaine Wright.

Leitz Named Director of Child Health Policy and Advocacy

Scott Leitz (MA '91) has taken the position of director of child health policy and advocacy at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. There he will work with key stakeholders in the community to raise awareness to child health concerns and will be Children's expert on legislative policy issues impacting health care.

"Amidst daily talk of health reform, both in Minnesota and nationally, I'm looking forward to giving a voice to children who otherwise might not be heard," said Leitz. "I'm excited about working to address the needs of our children today, especially if it will mean a brighter and healthier future for them as adults. I look forward to being a Children's team-member and making a difference in the lives of families across the state."

Read more here.

Reeder Named Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

John Reeder (MA '85), director of the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Federal Facilities Restoration and Reuse Office (FFRRO), has been named EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson's new deputy chief of staff.

The EPA has a mission to protect human health and the environment. Administrator Lisa P. Jackson leads this effort with a staff of more than 17,000 professionals across the nation to usher in a green economy, address health threats from toxins and pollution, and renew public trust in EPA's work.

Mendis Publishes "Commercial Providence: The Secret Destiny of the American Empire"

Dr. Patrick Mendis (MA '84) has published a book called Commercial Providence: The Secret Destiny of the American Empire. He asks the question: What is behind the success of America? Mendis explores the unseen forces that have guided America to global dominance. He details how the creation of James Madison's Universal Empire through Alexander Hamilton's Federalism realizes Thomas Jefferson's Empire of Liberty. He then unveils America's Masonic endgame of universal brotherhood: E Pluribus Unum.

Mendis is a visiting foreign policy scholar at The Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies and the author of Trade for Peace, is a former military professor and American diplomat during the Clinton and Bush administrations, and an affiliate professor of public and international affairs at George Mason University and a senior fellow of the Osgood Center for International Studies.

Find out more at

Moore Takes Position at PolyMet Mining Co.

Brad Moore (MA '83) has accepted a position as executive vice president of environmental and governmental affairs of the PolyMet Mining Co. in Duluth. PolyMet plans to open a copper mining operation between Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes, and the company says Moore will have "overall responsibility for the company's effort to complete environmental review and obtain permits necessary for construction and operation" of the proposed mining operation. Moore previously worked as the senior advisor of Barr Engineering and commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Read more in MinnPost and the Duluth News Tribune.

Marx Named CEO of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Tim Marx (MA '79) has been named chief executive officer of Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which works to strengthen families and end poverty and homelessness in the Twin Cities. The organization serves more than 37,000 families, children ,and adults annually. Marx leaves a position as executive director of Common Ground, a nonprofit housing, community development , and social services agency in New York City. Read more in the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chapel takes on role at Centers for Disease Control

Tom Chapel (MA '78) has a new role at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta after a stint as interim chief performance officer. He now is the chief evaluation officer in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.